Tsiknopempti is the Thursday during Carnival or the “Greek Mardi Gras” period which marks the beginning of the last weekend that observant Greek Orthodox Church members can “legally” eat meat. Because of this, everyone rushes to prepare and enjoy their favorite meat dishes, creating a cloud of smoke where it is being cooked. This gives Tsiknopempti one of its other common names, “Smoke Thursday” or “Smoked Thursday”. It is also called “Barbecue Thursday” or “Grilled Thursday” by some. It’s a popular day for going out to eat and enjoying as many different meats as possible. It can also be called, as a joke, “Feast of the Carnivores”.
You can read more about this special day here.
Since I work till late (like every Thursday for the past 20 years or so) I’ll be celebrating my carnivore instincts in this little taverna here. If you happen to be in Athens, this culinary joint comes highly recommended.
Happy Tsiknopempti to all!